Are you looking to streamline your sales process? It is an integral component of your business’ success. If your sales team has trouble selling efficiently, you’re going to see your company growth drop, which isn’t good for anyone.
In general, sales reps spend a significant amount of time doing admin work — scheduling meetings, setting up reminders, sending emails, and other small tasks that take serious time out of their day that could be used to close more deals.
So, how can you streamline your sales process in a way that all of that admin work still gets done, but your sales team has the time they need to close deals? For many companies, a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is the answer. How does CRM help sales? We’re here to break it down.
How Does CRM Help Sales?
Here at Evenbound, we’re big fans of HubSpot, but you might also have heard of other options, like Pardot and Salesforce. While some options are better than others for certain businesses, the general purpose of a CRM is to make it easier for your sales team to foster positive relationships with leads who come into your sales pipeline and eliminate a lot of the busy work that keeps them from closing.
Here are just 5 of the top ways a CRM helps streamline your sales process.
#1 CRMs Streamline the Marketing-to-Sales Handoff Process
For most companies, the handoff from marketing to sales is where leads fall through the cracks. Whether your sales and marketing teams aren’t communicating or your sales team is just too busy to follow up on all the leads marketing sends over, it’s easy and common for leads to fall out of the sales funnel during the handoff from marketing to sales.
A CRM can solve the majority of these sales drop-off problems.
The first fix is to notify your sales team. When the marketing team decides a lead is ready to move up to sales, a CRM can automatically alert your sales team of the move. This is a great way to eliminate lost leads who drop out of the cycle because no one contacts them.
The next fix is to help your sales team see immediately if that lead is actually ready for your sales team or not. A CRM shows your sales team exactly where a lead is in the buying process. The CRM will track every contact made with that lead, giving the sales team a good idea of how warm the lead is, and how ready they are to buy.
This makes it easy for your sales reps to see at a glance whether a lead is ready for them, or if they’d rather send them back down to marketing.
With a quality CRM, transferring that lead back down to marketing is a snap. Your sales rep just reassigns or recategorizes the lead with the click of a button, and they’re back in marketing’s “to nurture” bucket.
For many companies, a significant percentage of marketing leads do not convert to sales. Implementing a high-quality CRM not only helps make sure those leads get through the sales cycle, but it helps bring your sales and marketing teams together, and understand better what both teams need to effectively reach their goals.
#2 CRMs Increase Prospect Visibility in the Sales Funnel
Your sales team is busy. There’s no getting around it. As long as your marketing team is delivering leads, your sales team is busy contacting them all, establishing which of your products or service is the best fit for each, and then getting through the actual nurturing and closing process. A CRM streamlines your sales process by offering greater visibility on all of those prospects in the sales funnel.
CRMs make it easy to see where every prospect is in the sales funnel, at any given time. If your sales team is managing their leads with a post-it note system, a notebook, or any other method, they’re probably letting leads drop out of the sales funnel. And it’s not their fault — we’re all only human!
But, a CRM can help resolve this problem and make it easy for your sales team to prioritize the warmest leads above those who still need a bit of nurturing.
With the implementation of a CRM, you will be able to:
- Organize leads by priority. CRMs allow you to segment leads based on how qualified they are and where they are in the sales funnel. When your top-priority leads are listed right at the top of the page, your sales team doesn’t even have to think twice about who to call first.
- See at a glance which leads have been contacted, by who, and when. Another key visibility benefit that comes with a quality CRM is that your sales reps can easily see who has contacted what lead, and when. They’ll be able to see which of your resources a lead has already received, and what information they might still need to make a final decision.
Increased visibility thanks to a quality CRM leads to a more effective, efficient sales process. When your leads are automatically organized by industry, job title, interest level, and more, your sales team can spend more time on what they’re best at — closing deals.
#3 Automated Tasks Within a CRM Help Streamline Your Sales Process
Even though it’s necessary, sending out product catalogs, brochures, and pricing guides is repetitive and time-consuming. Your sales team already knows that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every email, but they do have to take the time to copy-paste their text, change the names, attach the documents, and then finally send the email. A CRM can automate these repetitive tasks so your sales team has more time to actually sell.
Quality CRMs offer tools like automated workflows, follow-up emails, chatbots, and more, so your leads still get the quality service they need to feel nurtured and supported through the sales process, but your sales team is freed up to use their time for more important tasks.
For tasks that CRMs can’t automate, they can send automated reminders. Your sales reps have to talk to any contact multiple times before they close a deal. Your CRM can automatically remind sales reps when to make those calls so that no leads fall through the cracks.
#4 CRMs Make Reporting Easy
No one likes to make reports. What if they didn’t have to?
One of the greatest benefits of a CRM for any sales team is the data it has to offer. Quality CRMs can generate sales reports at the click of a button, so your team can easily see what’s working, and what’s not. Your CRM is constantly collecting data about your clients, how long they take to close, what content offer brings in the leads most likely to close, and what sales tools are most effective at closing those sales.
All of that data, combined and compiled for you by the CRM, helps you interpret your sales team’s success, and further streamline your sales process for even better results.
#5 CRMs Offer Sales Leaderboards and Productivity Reports
We’re a big proponent of teamwork. As a growth agency, we’ve seen that companies who encourage their sales reps to work together do significantly better than companies with sales reps who are all using different sales tactics, and even different sales processes.
Advanced CRMs, like HubSpot, are designed to give you and your sales team all of the data you need to optimize and streamline your sales process as a team. Sales leaderboards and productivity reports are one great way to do that.
They show you which of your team members are doing great, and which might be struggling with your new sales process or CRM. You can use these stats to bring your whole team up, by asking those at the top of the leaderboard to share what they’re doing to close so many deals.
Generating a sales leaderboard and a productivity report also helps give you a better picture of where your reps are spending their time.
Maybe one rep has been spending a ton of time in your CRM, and is super productive, but is low on the leaderboard. This might be an opportunity to show them some more of those automation tools, so they can get out of their inbox, and back on the phone with clients.
Interested in Learning More About CRMs?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “How does CRM help sales?” you might be thinking that it’s time to take your sales process up a notch. If you’re interested in a CRM platform but aren’t sure how to get started, or are afraid of a lengthy learning curve, get in touch with the Evenbound team.
We have team members dedicated to onboarding and training sales reps and marketing teams on how to use the HubSpot CRM effectively, and we’re confident we can help you too.
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